Sunshine and friends

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Yesterday was the best day of this summer. The sun shone
brightly, the sky was a clear blue and there was not much wind to blow things


It was also the day of my annual barbecue. The history of
this barbecue is that when we moved in this close of twelve houses, in 1997, I
was asked by my next door neighbour who is a devout church goer, if they could
use my garden to hold a barbecue to raise funds for the Church. He also said
that for the last few years the attendance at the event has been very poor.


I agreed to have the event in the garden. And prepared some
Eastern food to help them . I think it was the curiosity of our neighbours to
find out, what the new arrivals were like , that everyone turned up.


Since then the Church element has been dropped, as there are
not many here who attend ,but the annual gathering has become a fixture.


And in keeping with the tradition, the day turned out to be
a beautiful one, after all the rain and the wind we have had. And this is how it
has been for last eleven years!


From about one O clock onwards, the neighbours start
drifting in with their bits of food And drinks. Barbecues are wheeled in and
ice boxes, full of Beer, marinated meat and fish are set in position on the

I usually make some  chicken
in Indian spices, some potatoes in sesame seeds or a salad with chickpeas and
fresh coriander and preserved lemons. But yesterday I just made the chicken and
some spicy potatoes.


We laid a long white table, which we normally keep folded in
the garage, on the patio. And kaid some large sunny yellow rush mats on it and it
soon filled up with food. People started coming laden with goodies. Some of my
friends joined in too. There were sausages, Chicken, home made burgers, salads
and nibbles. From Greek stuffed olives and peppers to crisps and home made
barbecue sauce.Freshly baked bread and rolls of various shapes and sizes.

There were my friends of various nationalities too. From Burma to Georgia, it was a truly internationa affair!


Another table on the lawn and under the shade of the trees
was groaning with drinks. There were wines of all colour, and fruit juices of
most unusual and exotic combinations.

Three barbecues on the lawn were in full blaze, and
they were turning out sizzling goodies on the foil platters. The  the older
children were busy rushing the cooked food onto the main table, where it
disappeared within minutes.

Some were sitting on my hammock by the pond, and some have
grabbed the tables on the patios.

There was a lot of laughter and chatting, neighbours who 
are busy in their lives and don’t get a chance to see each other, were now
catching up on things. Relaxed by the sunshine and the wine, minor arguments
are aired and laughed at and petty disputes are settled.

There were a variety of puddings. Chocolate mousse, raspberry
and clotted cream, home baked cheesecakes, Greek sweets, meringues and fruit


A copious amount of wine and beer was drunk, food was shared
and great conversations were had.

A couple of esteemed bloggers also took the trouble to join
me, and I really enjoyed their company. And felt that had I not joined this
site I would have never met people who are like minded, and are delightful to


At around 7pm our last guest departed, and I felt sad that
another year and the highlight of the summer has come to an end for me.


So till the next year, and hoping the sun will shine again,
and we will be lucky again to share food and friendship with all these good


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